Montclair State Among the Top 10 Schools for Teacher Preparation in the Nation

Montclair State was named one of the 10 top schools in the nation for teacher preparation by Edutopia, the voice of the George Lucas Educational Foundation.  The University’s College of Education and Human Services was lauded for its innovative programs for teacher preparation and for its interdisciplinary approach to innovations based on the needs of public schools.

Calling attention to the crisis that confronts teacher preparation in the United States, the George Lucas Educational Foundation selected Montclair State from among more than 1,200 schools of education because of its innovative teacher preparation programs that more closely mirror the demands of teaching in real classrooms. Each of the 10 institutions selected by the Foundation was featured in its November/December 2007 issue of Edutopia and on Edutopia.org.

“I am delighted to hear this exciting news,” said Ada Beth Cutler, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “I am so proud of the talented and dedicated faculty and staff who have truly earned this designation as one of the 10 leading schools of education in the nation.”

Montclair State was hailed for its interdisciplinary approach to innovations based on the needs of public schools. At the College’s pioneering Center of Pedagogy, faculty from arts and sciences, education and the public schools are equally involved in the ongoing work of teacher education. Within the Center of Pedagogy, the MSU Network for Educational Renewal is the school-university partnership with 25 nearby school districts where students from Montclair State do their field work, and faculty from the University teach courses and mentor students on-site.  The Foundation commended Montclair State’s close partnerships with public schools.

The Edutopia article noted that since Montclair State’s beginnings in 1908 as a modest two-year college focused on helping young women become grade school teachers, to its current status as the second-largest university in the state, it has never given up on teacher preparation. Although universities with similar backgrounds sometimes obscure their humble beginnings by eliminating teacher education programs or turning them into cash cows, Montclair State, to its credit, has never done so.  It is another in a long list of reasons that explain why Montclair State has one of the top 10 teacher preparation programs in the nation.